Northampton Press

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Capital improvements plan to be on Aug. 26 agenda

Thursday, August 21, 2014 by ELSA KERSCHNER in Local News

Lehigh Township Supervisor Cindy Miller reported at the Aug. 12 meeting the township should have received a letter regarding a capital improvements plan.

She asked the administration if a server and laptops can be pushed ahead. She also asked if the departments could all share a printer.

Township Manager Alice Rehrig said the disadvantage to sharing computer items is that the printer takes only 8-1/2 by 11-inch paper.

Supervisor Darryl Snover said he believes a new printer should cost less than the $750 that was allotted.

Each department's requests were listed with a replacement date. Larger equipment such as a backhoe should last at least 15 years.

Scott Fogel, police chief, said it costs $570 to equip a police officer. Presently scales are shared with Moore Township but he would prefer to have his own because the shared scales are not necessarily available when needed.

The partial review "sheds a lot of light on things," Snover said.

Roadmaster Frank Zamadics has been talking to people about the cost of concrete and steel for the maintenance building and his report will appear on the agenda for an August meeting.

Snover said a letter from the insurance company, Highmark, informed the township to expect a 40-percent increase in cost.

An increase would equate to a .5 mill tax increase, Snover said.

The township is looking for a better rate.

Supervisor Keith Hantz asked what happens if another two or three employees retire in a few years. Snover also asked about regionalization with Walnutport.

Miller said scheduling and other issues must be addressed with the police department. Miller has been looking at possible changes.

Fogel said he also has been exploring possible changes.

Supervisor Sandy Hopkins said the cost of salt went over the budgeted amount. Other items include heat and ductwork in the office, a bridge on Ash Street in need of repair and pipe replacement on Washington Street.

"I can't in good conscience hire another officer," she said.

Fogel said both crashes and enforcement issues along with service calls are increasing. The money budgeted for a new officer will go back into the general budget when no one is hired. The money, he said, should remain in the police budget.

"We are the seventh busiest department in the county," Fogel said. "We have the second highest number of roads considered dangerous."

Snover asked about an overlap of calls

Hantz asked if the road crew was going to repair the post office parking lot because it has become a safety issue for walkers.

Fire Chief Rick Hildebrand said the fire company wants to add a 12-foot addition to the front of two bays. It's needed to garage all equipment when they get a new rescue truck.

Bids for engineering at Delps Park ranged from $20,311 to $51,000. The difference is in the cost of the permits. FX Brown offered the best price and has already done a bog turtle study. Supervisors will meet with a Brown representative in the future.

Rehrig said the cost of monitoring the project has not been included with the bid. Phil Malitsch said the township engineer, Hanover, could do it because it knows what the township wants. The first revision would be included for the conservation district.

Fogel said he timed cars on Timberline Road and though the average timing was satisfactory there were cars traveling 60 to 65 mph. If roads are to be posted with lower limits it should all be done via one ordinance.

Snover asked if the township could override the automatic 55 mph limit by giving the entire township a lower speed limit.

Snover repeated an earlier necessity of an ordinance for mufflers on brake retarders.

The Turkey Hill development has been approved by zoning and is now at the planning commission.

Dave Washburn said the BMX group has received a cost for insurance at the Indian Trail Park bike riding trail. The township has not received any complaints about a possible track. Snover thanked him for keeping the township updated.